ASRI’s conservation model is based on healthcare as an incentive. By providing high quality healthcare, and non-cash payment options and discounts, ASRI is able to curb deforestation with collaboration from local communities in reforestation, monitoring and low-impact sustainable farming. Reforestation sites include Laman Satong, Sedahan, Begasing, and a mini forest behind ASRI’s health center building. The method we most often use is Accelerated Natural Regeneration (ANR). ANR accelerates rather than replaces the natural process in an area, working with the native species already present. Control plots at our reforestation sites are choked by grasses and weeds, whereas the reforested sections are regrowing several species of trees and are now home to birds, primates, and more rain forest biodiversity. Over the last decade, we have seen 20,000 hectares of forest regrowth.
Our program in Indonesia serves over 125,000 people in the communities surrounding Gunung Palung National Park. The diverse population is comprised of Malays (coastal peoples), Dayak tribes (indigenous forest peoples), and landless migrants from the islands of Java and Bali. In general, these communities live on $1.44 per day, which is below the World Bank’s international line for extreme poverty. Women bear the brunt of the effects of poverty and are often not included in decision-making.
ASRI’s Alternative Livelihoods Programs are a solution for creating productive, sustainable work opportunities for the communities living near Gunung Palung National Park (GPNP) and stem from the direct request of communities in Radical Listening meetings. These programs are designed to reduce illegal logging activities in GPNP. They involve ex-loggers and their wives, farmers, housewives, and widows. The aims are to increase participants’ income, manage expenses, and improve household financial management so that people do not need to extract resources from the forest.
To understand ASRI conservation programs and recognize the Planetary Health principles we apply to our conservation programs.
Planetary Health Principle: Systems Thinking and Interdisciplinary Collaborations (The Lancet)
Transformative solutions to planetary health challenges are developed by collaborating across disciplines. The different programs at ASRI reflect the need to consider both the natural and social systems that contribute to human health outcomes.
The broad scope of planetary health calls for all of us to work together. To create solutions, we need to communicate across boundaries and analyze challenges comprehensively. You will collaborate with colleagues from a variety of fields including medicine, ecology, and business.
Planetary Health Principle: Inequality and Inequity (The Lancet)
An individual’s vulnerability to the human health impacts of climate change is determined by factors such as socioeconomic status, politics, culture, and geography. Equality and equity are fundamental components of planetary health, and should be integrated in solutions.
The Alternative Livelihood programs and Goats for Widows Program address unequal access to resources and address gender inequality by distributing resources in a gender-responsive way.